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ADEX 2023: MBDA contracted to integrate Mistral ATAM with MAH

KAI expects to complete integration of the Mistral ATAM with its Marine Attack Helicopter by 2027. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

MBDA has received a contract from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to integrate its Mistral Air-to-Air Missile (ATAM) system on the new Marine Attack Helicopter (MAH).

The contract was announced on 17 October, during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2023. An MBDA spokesperson told Janes during ADEX 2023 that the contract was signed earlier this year.

The Mistral ATAM is based on the Mistral short-range air-to-air missile. The system, according to MBDA, is based on two twin launchers. MBDA's specifications sheet for the Mistral ATAM states that the missiles can be launched at speeds up to 200 kt and at altitudes over 15,000 ft.

An official from KAI said that work on integrating the missile with the MAH would begin in 2024. “We expect the project to be completed by 2027,” the official said.

The MAH is currently under development. The helicopter is based on KAI's MUH-1 Marineon. Its planned armaments include air-to-air guided missiles, a chin-mounted 20 mm Gatling gun, rockets, and air-to-ground guided missiles. On 28 October 2022 the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that it had awarded KAI a KRW430 billion (USD318 million) contract to produce three MAH prototypes over 46 months.

KAI displayed a model of the MAH at ADEX 2023 which depicted Mistral ATAM twin launchers on the helicopter's stub-wing hardpoints.

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